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What You Can Do With an IP Address, and How to Hide Yours
With someone’s IP address, you can learn a user’s general location, and disable some parts of their internet browsing device connected to the internet has an IP address, which helps websites identify your third-party programs or services, someone with your IP address could possibly block you from reaching certain you’re concerned about the security of your IP address, consider installing a firewall and Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.
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Every device that connects to the internet has an IP (Internet Protocol) address. The
IP address, which is composed of a series of numbers separated by decimal points, looks something like “198. 169. 0. 100. ” This number is used to help devices talk to each other and exchange data. Your network router has its own IP address, of course, as does every device on your network. But because these identifiers are so important, that means a hacker can potentially use them against you. Here’s what you should know about your IP address, and what it can be used for.
What you can do with an IP addressFirstly: most users won’t have to worry about any of this. It’s unlikely that any hacker would take the time to learn your specific IP address, and manipulate your specific device. There’s no real reward in it for them, so unless they love playing pranks, it would be a waste of fact, every website you visit already knows your IP address — that’s how they know to load on your computer, as opposed to someone else’ said, armed with your IP address, someone has the potential to take certain actions against your network. As such, it’s a good idea to keep your IP private from individuals you don’t could:
Block you from accessing websitesIt’s possible to use your IP address to prevent you from performing certain online activities. The most common example of this is blocking your ability to reach a certain site, or to post messages in forums or the comment section of web sites. In fact, this is the most common way that website administrators ban rulebreakers. It’s often referred to as an “IP Ban. “Your IP address can also be used to block or ban you from playing online games on some gaming services.
Learn your general geographic location Your IP address can reveal your geographic location. In most cases, this won’t be any more specific than your city and state. In rare cases, it could be as specific as your IP address also carries the name of your Internet Service Provider (the company that gives you internet access — think Spectrum, or Xfinity).
Your IP address signals where you are. ; William Antonelli/Business Insider
While there’s not a lot someone can do with this information, it can be combined with details from other sources to piece together data about your identity.
Perform a Denial of Service AttackKnowing your IP address, a malicious user may be able to perform a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, in which your network is flooded with data. It prevents normal traffic from getting through and overloads the network’s ability to function. However, these attacks are usually directed at large companies or websites — it’s rare that anyone would set up a DoS attack on a regular user.
How to protect your IP addressWhile there are some risks, your IP address alone poses very limited danger to you or your network. Your IP address can’t be used to reveal your identity or specific location, nor can it be used to hack into or remotely take control of your computer. That said, if you’re still concerned, a few simple precautions can help protect and foremost, your network should be protected with a firewall. Most routers have firewalls built in, but you should contact your router manufacturer or internet service provider to learn about your additional protection, you can use Virtual Private Network (
VPN) software. A VPN hides your IP address from all outside users, making it extremely difficult for someone to uncover your IP address or monitor your online activity.
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services.
NordVPN; William Antonelli/Business Insider
‘What is my IP? ‘: Here’s what an IP address does, and how to find yours’What is a good internet speed? ‘: The internet speeds you should aim for, based on how you use the internet’What is Wi-Fi calling? ‘: How to make calls from your smartphone even if you don’t have a cell signalHow to find the IP address of your internet router using a Mac, PC, iPhone, or AndroidNo, Bluetooth doesn’t use cellular data — here’s how the popular wireless technology connects your devices
Dave Johnson is a technology journalist who writes about consumer tech and how the industry is transforming the speculative world of science fiction into modern-day real life. Dave grew up in New Jersey before entering the Air Force to operate satellites, teach space operations, and do space launch planning. He then spent eight years as a content lead on the Windows team at Microsoft. As a photographer, Dave has photographed wolves in their natural environment; he’s also a scuba instructor and co-host of several podcasts. Dave is the author of more than two dozen books and has contributed to many sites and publications including CNET, Forbes, PC World, How To Geek, and Insider.
Insider Inc. receives a commission when you buy through our links.
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While working from home, is it a bad idea to give the company you work …
I work from home. Why would a company I am about to do some work for ask for my IP address? What would they need it for? Should I be worried? Thanks
Mark Buffalo22. 4k8 gold badges73 silver badges91 bronze badges
asked Feb 3 ’16 at 20:48
This seems to be a persistent question. IP addresses aren’t secrets. Every website you go to must know your IP address. There’s no reason to not give away your IP address.
Many companies have firewalls that only allow certain addresses through to certain ports. This is a relatively common way of controlling access to resources with minimal effort.
However, most people don’t have static IP addresses at home, and your IP address can suddenly change without notice. So just be aware that the IP you have today might not be the IP you have tomorrow.
answered Feb 3 ’16 at 20:54
Steve SetherSteve Sether21. 4k8 gold badges49 silver badges75 bronze badges
Why would a company I am about to do some work (working from home) for, ask for my IP address? What would they need it for? Should I be worried? Thanks
More than likely, they need to be able to white list your IP address, or IP range, to allow remote connections from your home. They need to know who’s on their network, and why. There’s nothing to worry about here.
Keep in mind, they will probably whitelist your dynamic IP range (likely 0-255), and not your actual IP address, unless it’s static.
answered Feb 3 ’16 at 20:51
Mark BuffaloMark Buffalo22. 4k8 gold badges73 silver badges91 bronze badges
Since you share your IP on every occasion in the web, there is no problem. Usually the reason for this is that they want to whitelist your IP in their firewall to allow you to remotely access them. Apart from that: Giving away your IP can not really harm you.
Even if that one company knows your identity and can consequentially relate your IP to you, this does not imply that any third party can do so. There is no problem in giving someone your IP if that person knew your identity in the first place, no additional information is given.
Other third parties cannot find your name and physical address from your IP address, and you can’t find it from theirs.
Well at last not without help.
We’ve seen that using a whois lookup on an IP address will tell you the ISP that owns it. It’s that ISP that can then tell you who, exactly, that IP address is connected to.
Note that while they can tell you, that doesn’t mean that they will. That information is typically regarded as private and ISPs are not keen on giving it out. What they can and do respond to, however, are court orders.
answered Feb 3 ’16 at 20:57
AdHominemAdHominem2, 98615 silver badges25 bronze badges
Firewall whitelisting is the obvious answer, audit whitelisting might be the other.
If we know in advance to expect you to dial in from IPs associated with the northeastern US and all of a sudden we see you’re successfully logging in from an IP address range in Guangdong, it’s going to raise red flags.
answered Feb 4 ’16 at 14:18
IvanIvan6, 2483 gold badges17 silver badges22 bronze badges
Sounds like a poor man’s VPN substitute. Normally the company’s VPN should allow connections from anywhere, and then use one or two different authentication methods (or more).
It makes perfectly good sense to firewall off large blocks like China, but micromanaging IP addresses is a continuous administrative overhead.
Plus there are plenty of users who don’t have static IP addresses, does your company update the ruleset every time someone blips their router/modem?
Answer No its not dangerous to share your IP, but it may be a sign of poor security practices masked by IP-based Access Lists.
answered Feb 4 ’16 at 6:15
CriggieCriggie4782 silver badges9 bronze badges
It’s a common practice: for restricting an outside access to VPN and other services. You should not worry and use a static IP address – for your own safety, btw. Because if even someone will steal your password – he will not have your IP likely.
answered Feb 3 ’16 at 23:03
Alexey VesninAlexey Vesnin1, 5431 gold badge7 silver badges11 bronze badges
Similar to [Alexey Vesnin] answer, we setup an external modem and firewall with an onion VPN connection. We configure the connection to run one specific application with username, password, and security questions. The firewall is configured for a static IP and mac address. If any other user/device tries to connect to that firewall it is kicked off. Employees can run personal internet through their own network card and firewall/router/modem. 1
answered Feb 4 ’16 at 4:25
LJonesLJones1071 silver badge6 bronze badges
I work for a marketing and advertising agency. My company needs my IP address so that they can track how many times I visit ours, and our clients’ websites (which we are monitoring to determine the effectiveness of our marketing and social media campaigns). Since I visit the site frequently to update blogs and edit content, my activities could skew the analytics.
answered Feb 18 ’16 at 5:35
ChrisChris111 bronze badge
It seems that it was not clearly stated yet in other answers:
If you connect to any of your company servers, then they will immediately know your IP anyway (as would any other webserver). Knowing your IP most likely will also allow them to know your physical location (not very precise though).
If you want to hide your location for some reason, then you would need to use a proxy or something, but then again, they might not allow you in.
answered Feb 8 ’16 at 12:30
If you work at home and routinely connect to your company’s website then they would have to know your IP since it would be in their logs. Who is doing the asking? Ask them for an explanation. No it is not routine as some have suggested. It may be that someone has been entering into their system to do something harmful and they are checking but, even then, all IPs are logged so it does not make any sense at all. Get an explanation and do not fail to mention that you understand that your IP should automatically appear in their logs so why do they have to ask for it.
answered Feb 7 ’16 at 3:46
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Frequently Asked Questions about what can i do with the ip address of someone
Is it bad to give someone your IP address?
There is no problem in giving someone your IP if that person knew your identity in the first place, no additional information is given. Other third parties cannot find your name and physical address from your IP address, and you can’t find it from theirs.Feb 3, 2016
What can be traced from an IP address?
In most cases, the information someone can learn based on your IP address is limited. They can find out your city, your zip code (or one nearby), and the area code associated with the area. They can see what internet provider you use, and whether the IP address is on any blacklists.Feb 13, 2020
Why is someone using my IP address?
That could happen if you have more than one Wi-Fi access point, or if you have both a router and a separate broadband device in connection-sharing mode. Less likely, you have a network address that you assigned yourself, and another device is assigning itself the same address.Dec 18, 2015